Is 2012 Panini Black Really All That Special?

Today, Panini released some of the first non-mock up images of a new product they have affectionately titled “Black.” Before I get into my reaction to the preview itself, I definitely think these cards look great. This one specific card definitely shows a simplistic black design with a nice layout and an understated beauty. However, outside of that subset, I think we have gotten the idea that the rest of this product isnt really at the same level.

This brings me back to Gold Standard, and the focus that Panini put on one specific element of the set. The rookie patch autos seemed to get more attention than any other card because of its spot as the box hit, and as a result the entire product suffered. Not only were the rookie patch autos ridiculously ugly and poorly executed to begin with, but the rest of the examples from the set were some of the worst of the year. Of course, this isnt even saying that this was also one of the most expensive sets Panini released (its now selling at close to half of original MSRP).

For Black, I am getting the same sort of vibe, even though its not even close to as bad as what I thought Gold Standard was. However, when you take a concept that has already been done and done well by Upper Deck in two sports, and re-imagine it rather unsuccessfully, that is an issue. Additionally, both the Upper Deck sets in basketball and football featured 100% on card autographs, and produced some of the best looking cards I have ever seen.

If Panini is going to continue with this type of product release calendar, with underwhelming content and even less compelling thematic elements, I hope we continue to see the type of backlash that collectors have started to spew on previously pro-Panini boards.

Again, these are great looking, but it doesnt look to be anything THAT special. I mean, we have already had unlicensed UD black cards in Exquisite, and Licensed NFL cards in Inception, these just arent really that unique. For a new product, lack of creativity is a big issue.

4 thoughts on “Is 2012 Panini Black Really All That Special?

  1. UD also had two years of Black Hockey that were awesome. I assume Panini will “introduce” a Black Hockey set this year as well.

  2. I think the cards they previewed today looked great and for an auto guy like me, the RPA box hit is pretty much the only real value I’m going to get out of a box, so it’s what’s most important to me. To be honest, the “secondary” auto in almost all boxes are worthless in almost every Panini set and I know a lot of people have an issue with the MAAP pricing but the way I look at it, if I think it’s too high, I don’t buy. I always know I can wait a while for the price to drop or just buy singles.

    What’s important here is that Panini has a chance to up the ante on both UD and Topps. They both had flaws in their similar offerings:

    UD–even though Black autos were featured in Exquisite, lack of NFL license is always going to be a problem for some people, myself included. If a player is on my Giants, I don’t want an auto of him in his LSU uniform. Some people prefer the college cards, but I think that’s a minority.

    Topps–Inception was a train wreck, plain and simple. On the one hand, big hits were extremely tough to pull for the 2nd year in a row and on the other hand, the rampant chipping issues were something that is inexcusable. Topps should be ashamed that they shipped a product with the quality issues it had.

    If Panini can execute these cards and keep the autos sharp, the edges clean, and the print runs the right size–not too small for Luck & Griffin and not too big for the scrubs–they’ll really have a winner.

  3. Without veteran on-card content it can’t live up to the standard Upper Deck set. Something tells me the checklist will be identical to many other Panini products, but with a facelift for the cards. That being said, these look good! The Absolute RPMs look really good as well. Whether it’s worth breaking a box as opposed to tracking down singles is another question.

  4. They can keep churning out the endless piles of crap, loaded with rookies, rookie autos, rookie jerseys, rookie patches, rookie stickers, rookie based checklists. Until somebody gets their shit together and makes an NFL set with on card autos of HOFers and stars, it’s just the same shit in a different wrapper. In the last month, I’ve spent around $2k on early 2000′s on card, hof’er autos. Most of them, I already own a copy or two of. Couldn’t care less about having copies of Joe Montana autos for $50 each. LMK if this $200 piece of trash product will be featuring 4 Joe Montana autos per box for the $200 pricetag. NO stickers allowed. Get on it, tools.

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